I just discovered this item on Laughing Squid earlier in the week...
Now I know how Baby Boomers felt when they realized the 60's were over.
Well, not really... but it's still very weird for me. I stumbled upon The Cacophony Society several months after moving to San Francisco in mid '89 and was on the periphery of events that eventually morphed into Burning Man Inc. -- I was at the gathering at Baker Beach and remember clearly the cops allowing the Man to be raised, but not burned; and I was one of the attendees in '91, when the amount of people on the Playa topped out at about 250 and things were anarchic, but not crazy-dangerous. Fun and exciting and wonderful as it was, I felt no need to repeat the experience.
I've written about John Law earlier, so it's pretty clear where I stand regarding his character. It's obvious that this was no rash action. Take the time to read the documentation provided - it makes crystal clear the motives for his action. And his argument for making Burning ManTM public domain is sound, although I couldn't help picturing a prankster smirk on his face as he typed it up.
Not that I have any stake in BM in any way, shape or form - I know that there are those who've attended recent BMs who've gotten something out of the experience... but I also think that when you're at the point where you become a punchline for a Microsoft commercial, it's time to Kill The Man - at least as he exists in this aspect and let Him be reborn in some other fashion.
What makes me sad... well, sadder - is that all the recent events cloud further my memories of things like this (made before the Spectre of The Man began its corrupting influence). But that just makes it more special, I guess, to be able to remember.